Book Dragon is reading - Dark Empire by Tom Veitch, Cam Kennedy, Todd Klein, Jim Baikie, and Lois Buhalis


[editor's note: this was written in February 2019]

Surprised how long this took me to reread, although I did keep getting distracted – 20 minutes here and there a few times a week isn’t really that much. Despite this, and in keeping with my first read, it all felt very fast and over quite soon.

I liked that, especially early on, Leia was recognised as being a capable Jedi in her own right and that she continued to learn and develop her powers throughout the story. Particularly that she played a key role in helping to shake Luke out of the dark side and the twins’ cooperation being shown as necessary to break free of evil and defeat the emperor. This made a much stronger presentation of the idea that working together is the key to overcoming evil, and that trying to take on that burden alone is opening yourself to needless suffering that you may not be able to overcome without help.

I liked a lot less that aside from this Leia is treated largely as being important just as the vehicle by which more Jedi will be birthed and that the primary objective of the emperor through this story is to possess the body of her initially unborn son as a replacement for own failing line of clones, which had been damaged by drawing on the dark side of the force. So, while I appreciate that unlike most of the stories which follow on from Return of the Jedi, Leia gets to embrace the force and develop her capabilities with it, I also resent that despite this she is mainly recognised by both allies and enemies as the mother of powerful jedi to come.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. Parenting is certainly important, and I would like to see more stories which include characters who are parents, or families, but I do get the feeling that Leia is treated as either a person or a mother and not both at once. Excusable on the part of a villain who sees people as only either enemies or instruments of his will. Less so for allies who supposedly oppose evil.